After about three hours of running, two of the shifters already tapped out. I know not everyone is a pro runner and we're not trying to beat the world record here, but that was disappointing to say the least. I wasn't gonna dwell on it too much though, cause after all, this training and our stay in the pack was gonna give us their trust and open a gateway to the Council's sleazy businesses.
Another two hours have passed and Alistair tapped out, along with another female shifter.
"Ugh I'm too hungry for this," he groaned and everyone could hear his rumbling stomach.
I chuckled under my nose. He was never one with high stamina anyway, but I knew he was good of a warrior and protector in other aspects.
I kept my pace steady, not trying to outrun the others, like some of the wolves did. It's a marathon, not a sprint, without preserving energy, these idiots will drop like flies soon enough.
"What's up Terminator? Feeling like tapping out yet?" The male shifter who started the argument during the morning warm-up slowed down to run side by side with me.
"Just give up, you and your mutts are not cut out for this pack," he continued. I wasn't gonna waste my breath on this asshole, cause his remarks and whole demeanor told me all I needed to know about the kind of treatment we would have to tolerate here. Nothing that will get to me, but definitely an annoying thing to have to deal with during our mission.
After the tenth hour of running, it was only me and the asshole left, although I could tell that he was out of breath, trying to pull through to look tough and not lose to a 'disabled mutt', as he eloquently called me around hour seven. He was sweating profusely, had a hard time keeping up with my pace by now, and definitely was balancing on the edge of hyperventilation and asthma. For a moment I kind of felt sorry for him, but decided not to show any traces of sympathy.
We hit the eleventh hour when I heard a loud thud, followed by a painful grunt behind, and it was a cue that he was out. I could also hear cheers in the distance, which I know came from my group, while they were continuing training in the field I was circling around. Since I was the last one standing, that meant I could easily just stop running and get my well-deserved rest, but I didn't.
I kept running.
"Rae, take a breather and let's go celebrate later!" I could hear Klaus' voice shouting out to me, but ignored it and kept pushing forward.
"What is he doing?" My hearing picked up a comment from one of the female shifters.
"I guess... he's not done," said Mina.
Soon, I felt a few droplets of rain on my skin. Nothing big for now, but judging by the clouds it could turn into quite a rough weather.
"Rae it's enough, come on man! A storm is coming!" Trai shouted over to me. I didn't give in and continued to do my rounds.
Another two hours later the light drizzle transformed into a stronger rain, causing the ground to gradually start mashing into dark, muddy paste under my feet. I wasn't going to call it quits just yet, I had a point to make here and stopping wouldn't make my work here any easier.
"What the hell are you doing?" A deep voice instantly sent shivers down my spine and teared me out of the inner battle I was having with myself.
"You won, kid, now get back inside, the storm is gonna get ugly," Greyson jogged along with me, irritation and concern painted on his face. I didn't respond.
"Hey I'm talking to you," he said louder, trying to grab my arm again, but I swiftly skipped to the side, not breaking my pace.
"Why are you so stubborn?" He asked.
"You said...until my...legs...give away," I muttered between breaths that were not as strong and stable as his was.
"I'm not...done," I added and went ahead to put some distance between us. After a minute I didn't hear his pacing footsteps, so I assumed he decided not to chase after me.
This wasn't about showing off, or proving them wrong. This was about creating an image of someone committed to this task, and to the pack's ways. If that could bring me closer to gaining their trust and respect, so I get access to all the information I needed, then so be it, I can run an ultramarathon.
The rain shifted into a full-blown downpour, the temperature fell lower compared to this morning, which normally would make anyone run for a shelter, a fireplace, and a cup of hot cocoa.
No can do. Instead, I had drenched clothes and knee-high mud on my legs to work with. Oh joy.
I lost track of time, while trying to stay sane and ignore the cramps and stiffness shooting up from my feet and knees, signaling that I'm absolutely pushing my limits there.
"Just a little...long-" my mind went fuzzy before I could mutter the words out. My legs slowed down on their own and halted me in the middle of all that swumpy mess, but I honestly didn't even register that until I heard a voice coming from behind me.
Was it a voice, or was it me shouting and creating an echo?
The world started spinning around and falling diagonally, until I felt my cheek hitting the cold ground with a splash of dirty water all over my exhausted body. Then, a warmth embraced my slender figure and I felt like I was floating in the air.
Everything went black from that point on.
The same dream haunted me for decades, centuries. The same, winter night and red snow falling from the sky.
The world is drenched in blood. It will never be the same...
"I swear to Goddess, Adam, If you don't let me in this fucking room, I'll rip your head off, Alpha or not!" A commotion outside the room I was in brought me back to reality, and only then I dared to open my eyes.
Indeed, it wasn't the cold air and blizzard that surrounded me, but a hospital room bathed in rays of sunshine beaming in through the windows.
"You're not getting anywhere near her! You've done enough," Adam responded, his voice saturated with fury.
"She's my mate! All this time, she was right in front of me! Why the hell are you keeping me away from her?"
Mate. I am his mate.
Raegan's cover is officially blown! Roman knows she's a 'she', and that she's his mate! Things are gonna go for a crazy ride from here on.
Blood Protocol updates every Saturday.
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